Three little letters, one of the scariest words in the English language: fat. This small word is the ultimate evil in nearly every diet in history. Low-fat, reduced guilt (any diet with the word “guilt” in it makes me ~cringe~, let’s stop this association between guilt and food please?? Cool, thanks xx), fat-free: all attempts to health-ify someone’s life. The logic is simple, but unfortunately, completely backwards and damaging: by not eating fat, you won’t get fat, sooo all of the problems are solved. In reality, this couldn't be further from the truth. I know, because I’ve been on both sides, and the fat free life is not the life you want to be livin’.
I was vegan for about 2.5 years. After being vegetarian and lactose intolerant, it wasn’t a huge stretch and there was plenty of delicious food to continue enjoying. The first year was amazing but it led me into a cycle of restrictive eating where I ate limitless fruits and veggies, and very minimal everything else. I was tired, had mood swings and my body found many ways to tell me that something wasn't quite right. Then, after those 2.5 years, going into my sophomore year of college, I ditched the food labels (easier said than done, I’ll tell you that much) and the nasty side effects went away.
Cut to this past April and I began to see similar signs. I was eating super clean (another tricky food word that too often means restriction disguised as health), seemingly the healthiest that you could possibly be. Except once again, my body was clearly telling me that something was wrong. So, I needed to figure out what was going on. It was at this time that I began finding bloggers like Lee (@leefromamerica) and Jeannette (@shutthekaleup) who dove into the hormonal aspect of balanced eating. They share the ultimate food and meal prep inspo, but one of the things that I most admired about them, was their full embrace of FAT. I mean, Lee’s most popular recipe is called “Coconut Fat Balls” (shared down below!). She’s not playing. As I watched these intelligent, healthy, strong, balanced, and ~happy~ women slather almond butter on toast, layer creamy avocado into their salads and dollop rich coconut yogurt on top of their smoothies, I reflected on my diet and realized the pattern I’d allowed myself to fall back into. I’d like to say that I immediately got up from my computer and sliced up an avocado, but that wasn’t quite the case. I’ve had a complicated relationship with food my whole life, so it took a little more coaxing and convincing.
It started with a drizzle of flax oil on my salads, and then bit of coconut oil in my morning matcha and then I finally made the coconut fat balls (because with a name like that how could you not make them??). And now, I’m so happy to say that healthy fats are laced into every one of my meals. And no, I didn’t suddenly start gaining crazy weight (we all need to get over that, it’s not real). Instead, I now feel healthier and more grounded than I have in a long time, because, finally, my diet isn’t built on restriction. I eat whole, healthy foods that make me feel good. It’s as simple as that. My body immediately thanked me for these additions (the side effects washed away after only 2 weeks just proving that your body really knows what it wants) and, not that it matters at all, but I’m at the healthiest weight I have been in a long time. Sooo, long story short, I urge you to take a minute to look at your assumptions of fat. I’m not saying that you should go grab a cheeseburger and fries in the name of #health. But I would love for you to get rid of that fear that is too often tied with the extra bit of coconut oil that gets your fried egg so nice and crispy. It’s only going to make you healthier and happier. I promise.
One of the misconceptions that I hate most is that fat is the root of all evil because it’s just not true. Grounding your diet in fear and complete restriction of any whole food will never be sustainable. In case you’re ready to make the plunge into the world of healthy fats, or just want to dip your toe in, here’s the perfect recipe to get you started. It’s adapted very slightly from Lee’s, but mostly I just wanted to share her unreal amazing recipe (go check her out, she’s a total rockstar and such an inspiration).
Coconut Fat Balls
1 c shredded coconut (flakes work too)
.5 c coconut oil, melted
.25 c coconut butter (other nut butter should definitely work, too, it’s on my list to try)
.25 c sunflower seeds
.25 c pumpkin seeds
.5 cup walnuts (holla @ omega 3s)
.5 cup almonds
2 T cacao nibs
1 T raw cacao powder
2 medjool dates (pitted)
.25 c unsweetened almond milk (or non-dairy milk of choice)
1. Add all ingredients to a food processor or heavy duty blender and combine until it makes a sticky dough. Roll into preferred size and lay on a cookie sheet to freeze. After 30 mins (or once almost completely frozen), transfer to an air-tight container and freeze.
2. To enjoy: let thaw for 5 minutes before eating for the perfect texture and flavor.
I hope you all had the loveliest weekend filled with self care and healthy fats! If you try any of my recipes, let me know, I’d love to see and hear how they turn out. Also, I’m so excited to be exploring with this blog and have lots of ideas saved up to share. But send me a message if there’s something specific you’d love to see highlighted here. Always love to hear.